Author Topic: undeveloped thought #655321B  (Read 1274 times)

V3X

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undeveloped thought #655321B
« on: September 11, 2012, 07:39:14 pm »
i can make out the dim outline of an idea in the distance, but i'm not sure the road i'm on will take me any closer to it than i am right now, so i'm going to transcribe the thing in its rough unidentified form.

i want to talk about intentions, and how people collectively make things happen. now, for some things (see: moon landing, etc) this is a valid pursuit. if a goal is clear-cut and scientifically definite, then there are clear steps to take in order to arrive there. everyone has a place in the machine that must be built to transport people from "we have not achieved" to "we have achieved" that goal.

more often, however, we are not concerned with scientifically precise definitions of where exactly we are heading, or where we want to head. the future is nebulous, and all we know about it is that it is not the present. and the way we know it is not the present is because the present is not where we want to be. in fact we have such a hazy, distorted, indefinite idea about the future that we often disagree on what it is and what it should be, and hence we often (as in almost always) disagree on how to get there, to one degree or another.

but, even if we cannot know the specifics of the future we want to build, i think it is still possible to be deliberate and even scientific in building it. the future is just what happens because of what is happening now. like The Machine™, which is just "what happens" as a result of what the people in it are doing, The Future is just "what happens" as a result of what's happening right now. the one thing all of us agree on about the future (if we are not fucking crazy, like the scientologists or the subgenii) is that it is supposed to be "better" than the present, somehow.

so, it would seem to me that if you want your future to be better, even if you have no idea "how" to make it better, you would start by improving your present. surrounding yourself with People instead of Assholes. forcing yourself to not hate getting up in the morning. finding something about your day that makes you smile. that kind of hippie bullshit. any collection of humans is going to give rise to something: it always happens, without exception. whether that "something" is good or bad is determined by the same principles that determine whether The Machine is good or bad, only on a smaller scale.

so maybe we can build a future, a better future, by using accidents and coincidences, on purpose.
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Verbal Mike

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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 08:52:06 pm »
After having this open in a tab for a week, I finally properly read it.
And it's a good thought. A very good thought.

I'd also add that it's fine and even important to do more than just the small stuff. Big ideas, big plans, programs, policies. But you have to try to remember you're doing it for something, and not fall too in love with the idea to drop it if it turns bad. And never, ever, give in to the temptation to believe you've found the one perfect way to fix the world – always be open to new, better ideas.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 10:13:47 pm »
i can make out the dim outline of an idea in the distance, but i'm not sure the road i'm on will take me any closer to it than i am right now, so i'm going to transcribe the thing in its rough unidentified form.

i want to talk about intentions, and how people collectively make things happen. now, for some things (see: moon landing, etc) this is a valid pursuit. if a goal is clear-cut and scientifically definite, then there are clear steps to take in order to arrive there. everyone has a place in the machine that must be built to transport people from "we have not achieved" to "we have achieved" that goal.

more often, however, we are not concerned with scientifically precise definitions of where exactly we are heading, or where we want to head. the future is nebulous, and all we know about it is that it is not the present. and the way we know it is not the present is because the present is not where we want to be. in fact we have such a hazy, distorted, indefinite idea about the future that we often disagree on what it is and what it should be, and hence we often (as in almost always) disagree on how to get there, to one degree or another.

but, even if we cannot know the specifics of the future we want to build, i think it is still possible to be deliberate and even scientific in building it. the future is just what happens because of what is happening now. like The Machine™, which is just "what happens" as a result of what the people in it are doing, The Future is just "what happens" as a result of what's happening right now. the one thing all of us agree on about the future (if we are not fucking crazy, like the scientologists or the subgenii) is that it is supposed to be "better" than the present, somehow.

so, it would seem to me that if you want your future to be better, even if you have no idea "how" to make it better, you would start by improving your present. surrounding yourself with People instead of Assholes. forcing yourself to not hate getting up in the morning. finding something about your day that makes you smile. that kind of hippie bullshit. any collection of humans is going to give rise to something: it always happens, without exception. whether that "something" is good or bad is determined by the same principles that determine whether The Machine is good or bad, only on a smaller scale.

so maybe we can build a future, a better future, by using accidents and coincidences, on purpose.

Why is it that the stuff in the second to last paragraph is often called "hippy bullshit", as if personal happiness doesn't go a long way in promoting creative progress?
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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V3X

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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:21:32 pm »
i can make out the dim outline of an idea in the distance, but i'm not sure the road i'm on will take me any closer to it than i am right now, so i'm going to transcribe the thing in its rough unidentified form.

i want to talk about intentions, and how people collectively make things happen. now, for some things (see: moon landing, etc) this is a valid pursuit. if a goal is clear-cut and scientifically definite, then there are clear steps to take in order to arrive there. everyone has a place in the machine that must be built to transport people from "we have not achieved" to "we have achieved" that goal.

more often, however, we are not concerned with scientifically precise definitions of where exactly we are heading, or where we want to head. the future is nebulous, and all we know about it is that it is not the present. and the way we know it is not the present is because the present is not where we want to be. in fact we have such a hazy, distorted, indefinite idea about the future that we often disagree on what it is and what it should be, and hence we often (as in almost always) disagree on how to get there, to one degree or another.

but, even if we cannot know the specifics of the future we want to build, i think it is still possible to be deliberate and even scientific in building it. the future is just what happens because of what is happening now. like The Machine™, which is just "what happens" as a result of what the people in it are doing, The Future is just "what happens" as a result of what's happening right now. the one thing all of us agree on about the future (if we are not fucking crazy, like the scientologists or the subgenii) is that it is supposed to be "better" than the present, somehow.

so, it would seem to me that if you want your future to be better, even if you have no idea "how" to make it better, you would start by improving your present. surrounding yourself with People instead of Assholes. forcing yourself to not hate getting up in the morning. finding something about your day that makes you smile. that kind of hippie bullshit. any collection of humans is going to give rise to something: it always happens, without exception. whether that "something" is good or bad is determined by the same principles that determine whether The Machine is good or bad, only on a smaller scale.

so maybe we can build a future, a better future, by using accidents and coincidences, on purpose.

Why is it that the stuff in the second to last paragraph is often called "hippy bullshit", as if personal happiness doesn't go a long way in promoting creative progress?

It's because a lot of people write that off as "obvious" and scoff when it's suggested in good faith. Which is weird, because a lot of people also fail to follow that advice. I know people who will go on and on about light and love, but they're surrounded by people who frustrate them and they never have anything positive to say. They "want to be positive" but they're always "held in negativity by somebody."

But tell somebody to just stop being so fucking negative, and it's like you've just dropped a piano on their foot. You're spewing "hippie bullshit."
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 10:54:40 pm »
i can make out the dim outline of an idea in the distance, but i'm not sure the road i'm on will take me any closer to it than i am right now, so i'm going to transcribe the thing in its rough unidentified form.

i want to talk about intentions, and how people collectively make things happen. now, for some things (see: moon landing, etc) this is a valid pursuit. if a goal is clear-cut and scientifically definite, then there are clear steps to take in order to arrive there. everyone has a place in the machine that must be built to transport people from "we have not achieved" to "we have achieved" that goal.

more often, however, we are not concerned with scientifically precise definitions of where exactly we are heading, or where we want to head. the future is nebulous, and all we know about it is that it is not the present. and the way we know it is not the present is because the present is not where we want to be. in fact we have such a hazy, distorted, indefinite idea about the future that we often disagree on what it is and what it should be, and hence we often (as in almost always) disagree on how to get there, to one degree or another.

but, even if we cannot know the specifics of the future we want to build, i think it is still possible to be deliberate and even scientific in building it. the future is just what happens because of what is happening now. like The Machine™, which is just "what happens" as a result of what the people in it are doing, The Future is just "what happens" as a result of what's happening right now. the one thing all of us agree on about the future (if we are not fucking crazy, like the scientologists or the subgenii) is that it is supposed to be "better" than the present, somehow.

so, it would seem to me that if you want your future to be better, even if you have no idea "how" to make it better, you would start by improving your present. surrounding yourself with People instead of Assholes. forcing yourself to not hate getting up in the morning. finding something about your day that makes you smile. that kind of hippie bullshit. any collection of humans is going to give rise to something: it always happens, without exception. whether that "something" is good or bad is determined by the same principles that determine whether The Machine is good or bad, only on a smaller scale.

so maybe we can build a future, a better future, by using accidents and coincidences, on purpose.

Why is it that the stuff in the second to last paragraph is often called "hippy bullshit", as if personal happiness doesn't go a long way in promoting creative progress?

It's because a lot of people write that off as "obvious" and scoff when it's suggested in good faith. Which is weird, because a lot of people also fail to follow that advice. I know people who will go on and on about light and love, but they're surrounded by people who frustrate them and they never have anything positive to say. They "want to be positive" but they're always "held in negativity by somebody."

But tell somebody to just stop being so fucking negative, and it's like you've just dropped a piano on their foot. You're spewing "hippie bullshit."

Negativity seems to be self perpetuated, rather than forced by conditions. I have an ex who would tell me "the world is against me", but mostly her problems were a negative attitude, clumsiness, poor choice in friends, bad eating and sleeping habits, and codependency.

But I remember when my master's adviser told me, "you have to choose to be happy" (even though I now know that he meant all the things you mentioned and more), at the time I was offended. Who put him on some pillar and made him the Happiness Guru!? How could he possibly be able to relate to my life and how does that even work anyway?! Choose to be happy, BAH! But I know better, now.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 11:35:20 am »
I don't know a single person who likes being told they are being too negative.  It's always a landmine, and generally, I think, something someone needs to discover on their own.  But maybe their are ways to nudge them in that direction.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 11:49:50 am »
Speaking as someone who's dealt with clinical grade depression and (for the most part) knocked that bitch into touch. My mantra was that dumbass "look out for mister in between" song. Try explaining that to someone who's on their third suicide attempt this week and see where it get ya.

Serious as cancer, tho, depression is just a negative point of view that gets a hold of you. One solution is to concentrate on the positive point of view until that gets a hold of you instead.

Easier said than done. Seemed worth the effort at the time, tho, given the alternatives all involved ropes and razor blades.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 12:59:29 pm »
I've only experienced mild depression, but it's come again and again over the past couple of years, and I don't feel it's a negative point of view getting hold of me. Rather, it's a thing that drags me down to a point where I keep having negative thoughts, about anything and everything, and find it hard to think of anything positive, even when I try.

I used to just be generally very negative, years ago, and I think that oddly enough reading PUA bullshit helped me figure this stuff out, because of the emphasis on being positive – not trying to look intelligent by criticizing random things, but rather trying to look enthusiastic by going on about awesome stuff. Over time I just came to realize that having positive conversations makes me and those around me feel good, and having negative conversations does the opposite. And I try to focus on the positive side whenever I feel the need to give someone a nudge in that direction – I don't say "be less negative", I say "focus on positive stuff". It's annoying but not as annoying as telling you to stop being negative.

Anyhoo, lunch ready, bai.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 07:34:46 pm »
Changing your thinking can cure depression, but it doesn't always cure depression, because depression isn't always caused by negative thought patterns. In my opinion, it is a dangerous, dangerous mistake to ascribe a single cause and a single cure, especially when both involve the potential imposition of value judgements.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 07:41:43 pm »
In my case, the thing that usually drags me down in the first place is getting too caught up trying to figure out what the one thing is that's making me feel off or down. I end up going over and over all kinds of thoughts that bother me until I can hardly stop, even when I notice what's going on and recall the lessons of past bouts. And of course, realizing *that*, while it's going on, depresses me even more. It's a mean, mean illness.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 07:49:32 pm »
Changing your thinking can cure depression, but it doesn't always cure depression, because depression isn't always caused by negative thought patterns. In my opinion, it is a dangerous, dangerous mistake to ascribe a single cause and a single cure, especially when both involve the potential imposition of value judgements.

That's all true. There's a lot of nuance in any psychological condition and depression is no exception. But I think the discussion has kind of focused on the "think positive" thing which is only a part of my original statement. There's a lot that goes into being happy and improving your life, and forcing yourself to act positive is just part of it. And I'm no expert because I get glum and grumpy a lot too when I really shouldn't.

There's a lot that goes into building something positive out of life even when it isn't objectively shitty. People who have serious, unavoidable problems in their lives aren't going to benefit from some wacko belief that it's all in their head, because a lot of the time it isn't "in your head." It's real and it's shit other people have control over and you don't. But that's where the broader suggestions come into focus. As painful, difficult and seemingly impossible as it might be, the first thing you have to do is make sure there really is something positive to focus on. It can't be just a picture of a unicorn that has no basis in reality. There has to be something tangible and if that means you have to completely fuck yourself out of every comfort zone you have, then that's what you have to do.

I say, like I'm some kind of trained life coach (I'm not, I know I'm not, and I hope nobody thinks that's what I'm claiming to be). It's just what has worked for me before. If everything around you is teetering on the brink of disaster, sometimes you just have to push all that shit over the edge and see where it lands. I've used the "nuclear option" of completely losing touch with every single person in my life twice in my 30 years. It's uncomfortable. It hurts. But it's also temporary. It isn't about teaching anyone else you don't need them, it's about teaching yourself you don't depend on any circumstance that makes you feel like shit.

ANYWAY THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE A SELF-HELP THREAD

It's about creativity and how Great Big Awesome Things usually happen by accident, but with (relatively) identifiable ingredients. If you stick 5 people who can communicate well and aren't afraid to Dream Big in a room, they'll usually produce something awesome. It might be a Thing, or just a discussion, and it may never live up to what they wanted to create, but it'll blow the pants off anything 5 random schmucks who can't quit kicking each other's baggage could ever imagine.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 06:45:19 pm »
It's about creativity and how Great Big Awesome Things usually happen by accident, but with (relatively) identifiable ingredients. If you stick 5 people who can communicate well and aren't afraid to Dream Big in a room, they'll usually produce something awesome. It might be a Thing, or just a discussion, and it may never live up to what they wanted to create, but it'll blow the pants off anything 5 random schmucks who can't quit kicking each other's baggage could ever imagine.

Counter-example: I once worked in an advertising agency. I can guarantee every ad campaign has at least 5 people that all fancy themselves to be the creme a la creme of humanity's communicating class, all of them dream of creating the "Big Idea", the advertising campaign that lives on as an archetype of awesome in their little advertising world. They tend to be pretty smart people too. Yet, Sturgeon's Law applies everywhere.

While I agree with the drift of this thread that you need to cut nay-saying assholes out of your life (saying this as someone that has a bit of a nay-saying asshole facet of myself that I need to keep on a fucking leash), there is equally a need to be on the watch for an ethic that puts "let's just keep it positive" above everything else. Nothing is worse for creativity where everything is permitted, no critical words are said and everyone is just trying to get along and be positive.

The cure for both ills, in my view, is the truth. And one hard truth is that life isn't always headed for the better, neither for humanity or for individuals.

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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 06:53:05 pm »
Just an FYI your avatar is NSFW.
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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 07:06:28 pm »
Just an FYI your avatar is NSFW.

Fixed. Thanks to you and Cain for pointing out the problem. Not something I normally think about.

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Re: undeveloped thought #655321B
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 07:06:31 pm »
Didn't someone recently post a link to a study on the power of pessimistic thinking? Oh wait, no, that was my FBF. I need to find that. Apparently, people who think too positively fare worse in many ways than people who are more negative. I like to think that critical thinking has something to do with this, as being critical is often seen as negative, pessimistic, a "downer", but in reality exploring potential negative outcomes and remaining grounded in reality rather than sailing off into hopeful/wishful thinking can not only head off negative consequences, but also means that when you do take a risk, you take a GOOD risk.

Here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/the-positive-power-of-negative-thinking.html

This article was interesting because some of the most abject failures I know are the people who do incredibly stupid things because they "choose to believe it will work out". Positive thinking at its finest. These people also seem more prone to depression, possibly because they are constantly having their hopes dashed by reality.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku